Near the end of 2012, NRECA International, Ltd., began working on two exciting new projects in Yemen to support the Rural Energy Access Project of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE). MOEE recently established the General Authority for Rural Electricity (GARE) to address the low electrification rates in Yemen’s rural countryside.
Yemen, located in the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is home to nearly 25 million people. Of that population, it is estimated that only 41.7% have access to the electricity network—a number that drops to 22.8% in rural areas. Furthermore, even with this relatively small number of people with access to the grid, the power sector is unable to support the current demands.
NRECA is working on these World Bank-funded projects to help GARE establish a more comprehensive rural electrification strategy through the creation of new public, private and community-based systems to address these low electrification numbers. In total, NRECA hopes to expand electricity access to 174,000 new customers, bringing all the benefits that come modern electricity.
There will be challenges, of course, but NRECA’s staff is confident that the project will succeed and that GARE will become a successful organization and a pillar of the government of Yemen.